3 reasons why attending a local college sets up students for lifetime success
For many people, attending college locally is a better choice than going away to school. There are a variety of reasons for this such as finances, work, family obligations or just the desire to stay close to home. There are many ways to have a meaningful, well-rounded college experience and they don’t all involve moving hours away. The decision to attend college locally can positively impact a student’s future in many ways.
Students commuting to a local school tend to save money not only on housing, but often on tuition as well. For example, a student who attends community college and transfers to Walsh to finish their bachelor’s degree can save anywhere from $35,000 to $60,000 versus attending a four-year public or private institution. This savings can have an enormous impact on their financial future. Students who choose to go away to school and have a full residential experience often graduate with significant student loan debt. A high debt-to-income ratio can affect their ability to build up savings, maintain a healthy credit score or buy a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 83% of students aged 22-35 who have not bought a home say their student loan debt is the reason. The 2015 three-year student loan default rate in the United States is 10.8%. In Michigan, that rate goes up to 12.2%. But for Walsh students, the same three-year loan default rate is only 3.4%. For students building life plans beyond the next four years of college, commuting to a local school can be a great choice.
A commuter school offers students the flexibility of building their own experience, whether that means engaging in student life or just taking classes around a full-time work schedule. For commuting students looking for the “full” college experience, making connections and building a sense of belonging can be a challenge, especially at a school where some students commute and others live on campus. At Walsh, students have many opportunities to build both friendships and professional networks through program-focused student organizations, networking groups, student life social events, internships and on-campus employment. For any student, it can be easy to feel like just a number when attending classes on a larger campus. Commuter schools often have smaller class sizes both on-ground and online, making it easier for students to get to know their peers and receive personal attention from faculty.
A laser-focused career path
For students with specific career goals already in mind, a highly focused degree program can be the perfect choice. A combination of academic rigor, hands-on learning and career-focused opportunities can lead to internships that evolve into employment after graduation. Ninety-five percent of Walsh faculty bring real world business experience to their curriculum, giving students the knowledge and practical skills they can use in the workforce right away. When graduates decide to pursue their careers closer to home, they also contribute to their local economies and help close talent gaps. More than 85% of Walsh graduates live and work in Michigan and our alumni can be found in every Fortune 500 company in Michigan.
A local college experience can be memorable, fun, successful and lead to excellent career opportunities.
Students should look for a school that offers academic rigor, real world experience, flexibility, affordability and opportunities to build both friendships and professional networks — all of which are available at Walsh. As is the case with so many parts of life, the more effort put into creating an experience, the better that experience will be.
Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.